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Full text of "California Garden, Vol. 8, No. 7, January 1917"

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Meandering Around the Garden 
Phormium <From Beauty to Utility^ 

Suggestions for Women 
The Flower and Vegetable Gardens 



Your valuable papers or jewelry may be lost 
to you tomorrow. Fire or theft may sweep 
them away forever. Be on the safe side and 

Own a Safe Deposit Box at the 
Southern Trusl: & Savings Bank-ClSl^,^ 


fruits at two years, is prolific, hardy 
"thick skin" of medium size, and 
ripens in Dec, Jan. £# Feb. It is the 
only commercial variety we know of that 

7 T* ts t* me °* ripening makes it a really If 

CIUCj • ([necessary addition to your garden. J) 

CL We have a limited number of field grown 
trees now on sale on "future delivery" orders. 

—$1.00 down per tree, balance at time of delivery. 

West India Gardens tSSS 

F. O. Popenoe, President 

Sty? Ixitfr Printing Company 

n i ir tr= ■■ ==i i =i n 

@»an Utrgo, Cttaltforma 

P articular 


The Picture & the Frame 

The right combination results in ff a thing of 
beauty and a joy forever." Whether your 
taste demands antique or hand-made frames, 
plain or ornate designs, the frames for your gift 
pictures can be found at Taylor's and it will be 
a real pleasure to select them. 

Rookwood Pottery still remains the most ex- 
quisite background for cut-flowers. 

Harold AT&ijlov 
v Compatuj v 

f< A gift from Taylor s 

is a gift indeed." 

1139 Sixth Street, San Diego 

and Hotel del Coronado 

Electric Porch Lighting 

Is Economical Protection 

Lighting up the front porch steps 
and walks will prevent many a mis- 
step in the dark. 

It welcomes visiting friends and re- 
assures the householder when he re- 
turns after a few hours' absence. 

It is the best burglar insurance you 
can buy. 

The reduced rates for electric light 
make the monthly cost range from 30c 
to 55c for 25 Watt Mazda Lamp. 

Porch lighting is an evidence 
of community spirit 

Try it as an experiment 

San Diego Consolidated Gas 
and Electric Company 

935 Sixth Street 

Home 41 IQ Sunset Main 64 



Floral Valentines 

are to be quite "the &yle" this year 

Miss Rain ford 

1115 Fourth Si. 


Corner of Fifth and F Sts. 

4% Interest on Term Savings 
Safety Deposit Boxes, $2.00 per year 
Foreign Exchange 
Mexican Money Bought and Sold 

W. S. Dorland, President 

Sam Ferry Smith, Vice-President 

O. E. Darnall, Cashier 

National Bank 

of San Diego 

Granger Block, Cor. Fifth and D Sts. 

Capital (Fully-paid) - - $100,000.00 

Surplus and Profits (All earned) 625,000.00 

Twenty-three years of successful 
business has enabled this bank to 
accumulate and set aside a fund of 
over half a million dollars for the 
protection of its depositors. It is 
the largest fund held by any bank- 
ing institution in the City of San 

Every accommodation consistent with good banking 
extended our customers 

A. H. FROST, Vice-President 
W. R. ROGERS, Cashier 

H. E. ANTHONY, Assistant Cashier 


is a device which holds a soap-like tablet and arranged so as to fasten to any hydrant. 
To the outlet of this device is attached the garden hose, and the water pressure grad- 
ually dissolves the tablet. This mixture is what destroys the worms, slugs and insects. 

Careful experiments during the past two years have shown that a Ridder used 
consistently and regularly will promote a luxuriant and healthy growth of sod on 
any lawn. It is a natural fertilizer. 

ess Fifth street San Diego Hardware Co 

PhormiumTenax 1 

New Zealand 


The wonderful FIBRE producing plant, which, under the new 
method of processing, is going to make one of the Greatest 
Industries of the Southwest. Write or phone for descriptive 
leaflet, and get your order in NO W for plants, as supply is limited. 

XT \ T? M TQ QTTtm C*C\ iTfte san diego seed storev 

tiiVKKld di^U l^U. ^824 F St., Between 8th and 9th Sts.f 

Sales Yards at Twelfth and Broadway 

The California Garden 

Published Monthly by the San Diego Floral Association 

One Dollar per Year, Ten Cents per Copy 

Vol. 8 


No. 7 

Peace to be Found in Your Garden — If You Dig for It 

EVER in our experience has there 
been such a general distribution of 
New Year's greeting, and the ad- 
vertisement that did not open with 
such a sentiment was quite conspicuous by 
its omission. Our shirts bore the message 
from the laundry and the man who would 
sell us baby chicks opened negotiations 
with the compliments of the season. 
Naturally we desire that California Gar- 
den should keep up with the procession, so 
on its behalf we wish you all even more 
than you deserve in the coming year. That 
it will be a year of great interest even to 
mere garden folks all realize and according 
to our natures we await it with hope or 
fear. All of us, optimists and pessimists, 
keep on living as long as we can, adopting 
pet systems of diet and philosophy, and 
the days go by us just the same twenty- 
four hours to each, leaving us better or 
worse till one of them comes that is too 
long for us and we move to another sphere. 
Doubtless we worry over much and per- 
haps joy too greatly, as the sense of pro- 
portion is but a budding thing in human- 
ity; certainly we habitually overestimate 
our own importance in the scheme of things 
and place undue weight upon our chosen 

scheme of salvation and we will do it all 
over again in 1917 perhaps with greater 
intensity because of the world urge that is 
in the air. We are habituated to strife and 
competition and were real peace to come 
suddenly we would not know what to do 
with it, nevertheless California Garden 
must wish you intervals of peace and sug- 
gests that such are to be had in real gard- 
ens, those spots where men and women 
have expressed in living color and form 
their ideas of beauty, building up an at- 
mosphere in which their best can breathe 
and expand. May the day of such gar- 
dens come nearer and nearer and it will 
as we realise that we have devoted our- 
selves to making livings, not to living, 
vjhicze . . nhchapseB . Natuimtuhsttij ara 
which is a very different thing. We are 
looking over a letter from war racked Eu- 
rope from one who sat in a building as a 
shell went through and it is an intimate 
discussion about his dahlia tubers and the 
chickens in las back yard. Does that not 
show the possibilities of the garden as a 
resting place where one can recover a lost 
grip upon things? For 1917 the Califor- 
nia Garden wishes you a real garden for 
nerve rest and soul expansion. 

The Real Exposition Still Lives 

E have been upon a short visit to 
a city north of here a mile or so 
and found it almost in tears over 
the passing of our beautiful Expo- 
sition, the prevalent remark being, 'Isn't 
it too bad your exposition is done away 
with?" Investigation showed that the Ex- 
position in the minds of these people was 
not the exhibits, not the Isthmus nor the 
special events: not even the silk hats in 
which some of the officials bravely martyred 
themselves, but the lovely grounds and gar- 
dens, so to these it was said, ' ' The gardens 
with the buildings that count in the pic- 
ture are to remain and where inharmoni- 
ous or useless structures are removed, ad- 

ditional landscape features will be installed 
so that far from passing, the real exposi- 
tion will be growing ever more beautiful. 
That which differentiated the San Diego 
from every other exposition is a living 
thing, a heritage for the children of to- 
day and not a passing show.' Possibly it 
might be worth the while of those who 
send abroad in the land the message of 
the city to emphasize THE LIVING, not 
the passing of our Exposition. 

This brings to the top our extreme sym- 
pathy with the present park board, strug- 
gling with the applications of numberless 
bodies thinking their little title good to 
some of the exposition buildings, while this 


momentous problem of the maintenance of 
the exposition picture is so insistent. 
Gradually those features maintained for 
straight exposition purposes must merge 
into park items absolutely harmonious with 
the general scheme. To instance any of 
these now would be only to give a handle 
to protesters to protest and would serve 
no useful purpose, but that there are such 
must be known to all who know the 
grounds and have thought of their dispo- 

sition. We also recognize the folly of even 
referring to this matter while it is in fer- 
ment so to speak, but were we a Park 
Commissioner, which the good sense of 
mayors and our good luck has prevented, 
we would deem it a prime necessity in par- 
celling out the loaves and fishes from the 
exposition basket that every one fell to a 
legitimate parking use. Mere merit would 
legitimatise such a long list of applicants 
and might restore the Isthmus. 

A Review of the December "Garden" 

FEW thoughts suggested by a careful 
reading of December number of Cali- 
fornia Garden may be of interest and 
perhaps helpful to readers of the ex- 
cellent publication. 

The article, "The Mysterious Mistletoe", 
was illuminating indeed. I did not suppose 
there were so many species of this parasite. 
That it will sap the life out of cottonwood 
trees, and mesquite bushes, certain as fate, 
after the pest once becomes well established 
on the host. I have often wondered how 
many of the self-styled "Nature Students" 
took enough time to dissect the branch of a 
tree, which was permeated with the roots of 
a well developed specimen of mistletoe. 
Again, how many of those who are engaged 
in the vocation of school teaching have been 
interested enough in their profession, to learn 
for themselves, how the seeds of this peculiar 
class of plants, are "planted' on their host. 
The method is hinted at by the author of the 
article, but if this observation on the subject 
is read by a pedagogue, I have to say to such a 
one: study up the subject yourself, by personal 
investigation. It will be interesting, and a 
mighty sight more profitable than reading 
many of the trashy novels, known as "the 
best sellers." 

And this thought leads me to remark, that 
seventy-five per cent of the human race might 
as well have been born blind, in so far as it 
relates to their disposition and ability to see 
the beauties of nature as they exist in earth, 
and sea, and sky. 

The varieties of roses which have done well 
with me are Ophelia, Betty, Rayon d' Or. If 
there is a more beautiful yellow rose than 
the last named I shall be pleased to hear about 
it. McArthur is a fine rose, indeed, but when 
it comes to quantity of flowers, of good color 
there is no variety that I have met with, equal 
to the good old Ulrich Brunner. 

Of the Polyanthas, those of the Crimson 
Rambler type are a snare and a delusion, 
the prey of mildew five years out of six. I 
shall consign all mine to the brush pile this 

Of the Cecil Bruner type all varieties are 
good. They are like the Irishman's whiskey, 
all brands good, but some better than others. 
The new one named Baby Doll is exquisite. 
If spectacular effect is sought after solely, 
then there is no rose equal to the "Ragged 

The facetious remarks about Tupidanthus 
by the Editor, leads me to< say that a fine 
specimen grew on the Huntington estate at 
Pasadena, a good picture of which I had 
made, and reproduced in The Pacific Garden 
several years ago. The freeze of 1913 put 
an end to its existence, but it seeded freely 
and the superintnedent grew quite a lot of 
little plants. It is only good as a foliage 
plant in landscape gardening. The inflores- 
cense is an interesting curiosity to people who 
have eyes, and use them in collecting a s^ore 
of knowledge. 

Relative to its propensity to become a 
scandant plant in its native habitat the state- 
ment may be true. We grow plants in the 
earth in this part of the world which are 
Epiphytes at home. Billbergias are of this 
class, and what beautiful things they are, 
either in leaf or flower. The wonder is that 
they are not extensively grown in all lath 
houses in this southland. I have been told 
that Solandras are Epiphytes in their Guata- 
mala home, so also Phylloeactus. By the way, 
how many readers of the Garden know that 
this species of Cacti must be grown in shade, 
and watered freely during the summer months 
to do its best in this climate, moreover, they, 
too, are unsurpassed by any other flower for 
exquisite beauty, and will last several days 
as a cut flower. They should be found in all 
lath houses in this end of the state. 

The article, "Caliana Canyon," is the pro- 
duction of a poet, an artist, a student of Na- 
ture, and a humorist of refined type. I hope 
that he is young in years, and has the time 
and money to travel extensively, and the dis- 
position to contribute largely to the columns 
of California Garden. 




Yam Roses Be? 


A. D. Robinson 


■m ^a^^^^ ss^^ 

RUNING is now to be seriously con- 
sidered and must be done before buds 
push. Before going into detail once 
again, for all this has been said be- 
loie in this magazine, it might be helpful to 
inquire into the history and makeup of the 
rose. In the first place almost every variety 
we grow is a development from a few original 
species and not only that, the degrees of re- 
move from the original are very many. There 
are now thousands of named roses and more 
than survive have gone into the discard. This 
fact alone would suggest the necessity for 
man's continuous intervention in rose culture, 
particularly as the aim has been mainly to 
produce fine blooms without much considera- 
tion for the other habit characterizations, ex- 
cept perhaps length of stem, and a vast num- 
ber of varieties exist almost entirely for exotic 
or greenhouse growth. Between the wild rose 
and a Juliet are many steps, yet both are 

Two facts stand out as guides in pruning. 
First, that blooms are made upon new wood; 
second, that roses prepare to make more 
blooms than the bush can bring to perfection 
of size, color and form. Pruning is done to 
stimulate new growth and curb the too great 
ambition of the plant focussing its energy 
within its compass. The first step however in 
pruning is to remove all dead wood, also all 
soft shoots that have not matured, then in the 
case of old bushes where many canes remain 
they should be reduced to not more than four 
or five of the ripest and strongest of the last 
season, discarding the older ones. The se- 
lected canes should be shortened back to four 
or five eyes with the top one pointing in the 
direction to which the bush is desired to grow. 
This is modified by the variety, as in the 
Cochets for instance, whose habit of growth 
being drooping it is good practice to trim to 
a top inside eye all the time. In larger bushes 
where trunks have been established the prin- 
ciple applies though shifted up to the newer 
growth above and expanded to meet the larger 
conditions. For all practical purposes the 
rule holds that the weaklier the growth the 
severer the pruning and vice versa. Growths 
should not be allowed to cross one another 
and no cut should be made without a reason, 
the small growths at the base of a bush are 
worse than valueless — they use up force for 
nothing. A sharp tool is essential so as to 
make a clean cut and half an inch above an 
eye is a good place to make it. 

The above applies to priming for fine 
blooms; where shape and quantity are greater 
considerations the mere shortening back of 

growths with removal of all dead and sufficient 
live branches to allow air and light will be 
sufficient, and this applies to all polyanthas 
or baby roses where size is of the least mo- 
ment. Our climbers are systematically neg- 
lected in this pruning matter and consequently 
suffer from overcrowding with its attendant 
scaly condition and a tendency to bloom only 
at the extreme top. They should be pruned 
similarly to bush roses only taking the main 
stems as a base and they are much benefitted 
by being taken from their supports and al- 
lowed to stay for two or three weeks flat on 
the ground, this has a tendency to make them 
bloom all along their stem. 

When the pruning is done, spray with Bor- 
deaux mixture and get a heavy mulch of 
stable manure on the ground. 

It is probably necessary to the maintenance 
of even a small rose garden in this vicinity to 
buy some new bushes every year, our gardens 
are full of old soldiers that have served nobly 
and earned a rest. Most of the fine kinds are 
short lived, not in the sense of actually keep- 
ing alive but in producing the best blooms and 
every garden should figure on a complete re- 
plenishing at least every four years. This ad- 
vice being brought home reminds of the re- 
moval this season of several standards that 
never were any good but have been an eye- 
sore for four years because of the weak senti- 
ment of hating to dig them up. Standard 
pruning is mainly the securing of a shapely 
bush like head to which end the direction in 
which buds point must be carefully studied 
and they must be headed back quite closely 
till the foundation for this symmetrical de- 
velopment is secured. 

Prune, plant and fertilize, and so you shall 
reap a harvest in April. The season so far is 
very favorable but this magazine is issuing no 
guess much less a guarantee of what it may 

Encanto Planting Poppy Seed 

Eleven hundred acres of hills surrounding 
Encanto are to be planted to California pop- 

A meeting of the Encanto Heights Improve- 
ment Club was held recently at which plans 
were made for the work. Practically all the 
money needed has already been subscribed. 
Members of the club say they will do the work 
themselves. It is planned to have the poppies 
bloom in April. They will be planted so thick- 
ly that from a distance the hills will appear a 
mass of yellow. 

jliD SitiaesD (aKs^sD tajcts&ia) LtLoatfaJ 

N the past twenty-four hours it has 
rained nearly two inches but the 
soil in the garden is altogether too 
trifling to make mud or puddles, so 
i can walk abroad dry shod and comfortably. 
Why at this time the garden should give me 
satisfaction none but real garden folks could 
see for it is apparently a flowerless waste lit- 
tered with sticks and leaves and plants that 
show extreme dejection, if not suggesting dis- 
sipation, yet the very wetness is enticing af- 
ter months of the other thing, and ungrate- 
ful as it may sound, I find the absence of 
bloom restful after such a riot of color. 

I have sown Baby-Blue-Eyes and California 
Poppy as a border and the weather has been 
ideal for their growth but those infernal 
striped-head sparrows have been getting each 
tiny plant as it poked its head through the 
soil. We are getting quite mushy in our 
bird sympathy and fierce in onslaught upon 
the English sparrow but the striped villain 
and the read-headed linnet are not simply 
a menace, they are a marauding fact. As a 
gardener I suffer from the sportsman who 
won't let me protect myself against the quail 
and rabbit because he wants them preserved 
for his own killing according to the ethics 
of his cult, and also from the sentimentalist, 
who not only wants birds protected, but would 
have them provided with cute little houses 
and balls of suet hung upon strings. I have 
tried encouraging cats and hawks but both 
prefer baby chicks to the birds and really 
the latter seem to congregate around me in 
ever increasing numbers just to jeer at me 
and my livestock when not nullifying my 
planting efforts, and then some one gave the 
final insult by sending an application blank 
for an Audubon society. 

Why don't we plant more of the Buttercup 
oxalis, it is now making a lovely green bor- 
der with Chinese narcissus bloom stalks look- 
ing up through it. These have been there 
seven years without any care whatever and 
they never fail to welcome me at this time 
when most all else acts as if they did not 
care who knew they were tired. I have 
heard the oxalis condemned as a weed in- 
tolerant of control, but mine has stayed 
where put all these years and many times 
nursery folks have asked to buy bulbs. It 
was a real pleasure this day to turn for re- 
lief to the green stretch after mentally col- 
lecting all sparrows in one big funeral pyre. 
The hedge of Acacia Longifolia never fails 
to set me speculating as to why it breaks in- 
to bloom in spots and little spots at that, 
today there are three squares of about a 
foot in a hundred feet, bright little forerun- 

ners of an expanse of yellow come out to 
see if this old world is the same as last year. 
Of course 1 suppose some bud must blow first 
but why? 1 don't want the scientific reason 
of more sun, more water, that kind of thing, 
for it is not half so interesting as to think 
of the hedge as an entity that might act thus 
just as a lark. 

Near this hedge are two Eucalyptus Platy- 
philla that in the past have been the excuse 
tor much unwarranted pride. In the early 
growth they had enormous leaves that war- 
ranted some enthusiasm but now the size 
thereof and shape is decidedly commonplace 
and the tree in spite of topping persists in 
being tall and lank and the most rudiment- 
ary kind of bloom without any stem are com- 
ing like warts on the branches. This con- 
fession is made to offset prior and prema- 
ture enthusiasm. 

I grow several oleanders which never bloom 
well for lack of real heat but they invite and 
hold all the black scale in the garden that 
Carissa grandiflora does not harbor and I 
believe, when anything, man or plant, has 
found its job, it is mere common sense to 
leave it alone. 

At last I am going to have a Fremontia. 
It has taken several years many plants and 
quite a bag of seed but from a large planting 
of the last a vigorous bush has grown. I 
was advised to treat this shrub with abso- 
lute neglect, to regard it as a pariah, some- . 
thing to be shunned by cultivator and hose, 
so I put the seed in the worst place I could 
find, and the finding was a matter of elimina- 
tion for there were many eligible spots, and 
up came this chap and two others. The latter 
were not content with the location, it was 
not bad enough, and did not grow at all, 
but the first one having lit upon extra stony 
ground flourished exceedingly and is over 
three feet high. I have an idea that with 
this example of the poverty of the land other 
seeds will try it this spring for they were 
of an enduring kind not to be discouraged 
by one season's postponement. 

Of course there are some flowers, dwarf 
nasturtiums with so many blooms on such 
small plants, the forgetmenots that love the 
infrequent clammy damp, violets that de- 
spise irrigation and smile at rain and the 
early narcissus, and when they are picked 
for the house and come in all moisture 
sprinkled, often covered with dirt sittings, 
how they do smell of the good growing earth 
and sing "He sends the snow in winter, the 
sun to swell the grain, the seed time and the 
harvest and soft refreshing rain." Perhaps 


that is not quite letter perfect but it is the 
spirit not the letter I would convey. 

The lathhouse, damp, Oh yes and beaten 
down but do you see those ferns pushing 
fronds the biggest they have ever had, the 

cineraria leaves rising crisp from their limp 
waiting for just this? Feet wet? Why of 
course go in and change; you are not a child 
of nature but the slave of a shoemaker. 

Suggestions for Women Who Want to 
Get Out and Dig a Little 

(Charlotte Moffitt, La Jolla) 

| OR those who have a great desire for 
gardening but small space, small 
strength, small experience or small 
means, there still remains that most 
interesting of all garden features, the herba- 
ceous border whose infinite variety time can- 
not wither or custom stale. It can border 
anything; a path, a building or the entire lot, 
and it can have a back ground anything or 

The first requisite after you have decided 
on its location and dimension is to get your 
soil in the right condition and don't think 
you can't do it yourself because you can. 
Water it well first then with a stout fork or 
spade turn it up and spread it liberally with 
well rotted manure. Keep it pretty damp 
for two or three weeks, turning it over and 
over until the manure is thoroughly mixed 
with the earth and your longest trowel sinks 
easily to the handle and more. 

When it comes to the planting, choose a 
simple design or grouping of some conspicu- 
ous flowers the repetition of which motif will 
unify the whole and then fill in with whatever 
suits your fancy, always taking care that 
there are low spreading flowers in the fore- 
ground and tall ones at the back, with middl- 
ing sized ones in between. I have just plant- 
ed one myself. My connecting note is a 
grouping of shasta daisies, ageratum, gypso- 
phile and snapdragon. There are pansies in 
front relieved here and there by bunches of 
lobelia or alyssum. I have filled in with stock, 
morning bride, mignonette, gaillardia (dwarf) 
forget-me-not, bachelor button and larkspur. 
These are put in singly always, for there 
should be no grouping of color to take the 
attention from the motif. 

* I am afraid, now that I have it planted, that 
that motif is too inconspicuous, that it hasn't 
character enough; and I think I should have 
something spikey to vary the monotony of 
so many rounding clumps — iris, for instance, 
or yucca. But never having anything perfect 
is one of the joys of gardening; afterthoughts 
to be carried out in another planting makes 
one's interest perennial. Then when one has 
a garden of one's own other people's begin to 
come into the field of conscious vision. From 

these one gets suggestions, warnings and in- 
spiration and so the horizon widens. 

This sort of garden anybody can have and 
if you lack the courage or confidence to even 
take the initial step any seedman or gardener, 
amateur or professional will gladly start you 
on your primrose path which you must not 
for a moment think one of dalliance. Noxious 
weeds grow apace under favorable conditions, 
the sun bakes the earth, snails lurk every- 
where, and flowers are continually fading and 
if these be not cut away your garden will soon 
come to look ragged and shabby. 

It is well to have a little corner reserved 
for seeds from which your border can be re- 
plenished and so kept constantly fresh and 
blooming and, if you like, differing. The soil 
in this bed should be very sandy because the 
tiny root hairs are the intake of sustenance 
and if they be torn in transplanting the plant 
will wither or at least be stunted in growth. 


I bought some plain green denim, the color 
of Marsh Willow leaves and had a little tailor 
make me two pair of workmen's overalls, with 
full array of pockets and straps. Then I 
bought enough rose pink chambray for a knee 
length smock. This I made myself, with 
round neck, long sleeves, and a loose belt so 
that the folds of the smock should not fall 
forward and get in my way when weeding. A 
second smock, of the same pattern, was of 
corn yellow chambray. I wore a true old- 
fashioned sunbonnet to match each smock. 

For ten cents I bought a good sized chip 
basket and painted it willow green to match 
my overalls. This held my smaller tools, a 
trowel, scissors, gloves, and a folded kneel- 
ing-mat. This rug was a piece of an old green 
and white rag rug and could be washed as 
often as necessary. A pair of earth brown 
sneakers completed my costume. — Gobelina 
Fell Alsop, in The Garden Magazine, New 

Meeting Notices on Page 14. 

PHORMIUM < A B ™5i>> 


HE dictionary says that "indigenous" 
means born in a country, presumably 
originated there. They, in botany 
land, refer to Phormium as indigen- 
ous to New Zealand. No doubt when Tasman 
stepped ashore in the geographic act of put- 
ting New Zealand on the map, he was con- 
fronted with this wonderful lily swamp 
growth to the extent of thousands of acres. 
And so its profuse growth in the wilds of New 
Zealand resulted in its being regarded as in- 
digenous to that far off island, but not ex- 
clusively, so it turns out. 

man, who in time peopled New Zealand, in a 
crude mechanical sort of way, harvested and 
extracted the fibre from the green leaf of the 
phormium, discarding the leaf the moment it 
igot dry as an impossibility, and sending great 
bales of this most useful fibre to the United 
States, it, with the henequin-produced sisal 
and the manila from the Philippines, going 
into that most necessary article upon the farm, 
around harvesting time, viz: binder twine, and 
binder twine makes the machine reaper an 
accomplished mechanical fact. 

So much so that one writer credits Yucatan, 

But the name of Phormium is not in the 
native language of New Zealand, but is from 
the Greek, phormios, basket. And why basket? 
Because no doubt the ancient Greeks learned 
that the most necessary and useful basket, 
which in the olden days filled the want of the 
modern box or barrel of today, was best made 
from phormium, that this igraceful growth 
yielded leaves that, when dry, were as tough 
as leather, and so when woven into a basket, 
no better basket existed. The strength of 
phormium leads, in a' fibre sense, all the rest. 
Hemp and the strong flax of Europe do not 
compare in strength with the fibre of phorm- 

The Maori long ago learned, perhaps., more 
than the ancient Greeks as to the fibre value 
of phormium, for with a clam-shell he patient- 
ly scraped away the gum-charged pulp of the 
leaf and brought forth a mass of stringy 
threads, white and lustrous, and answering for 
thread or bow strings or rope incomparable. 

It may be that the Scythians of the olden 
days, who used Varro's legions for arrow pin- 
cushions, made their bow-strings from this 
fibre gathered from the rihormium olant grow- 
ing in the oases of the desert. But the white 

whence the sisal for binder twine comes (the 
greater part of it), with making it possible 
for us to have cheap bread. Without the 
reaper, and the twine that makes the reaper 
a rounded out useful piece of mechanism, our 
wheat would have to be cut with a sickle or 
scythe, and tied up by hand and the labor to 
do this would be so expensive as to make 
wheat cost much more even than in these in- 
flated war time prices. And so this writer 
would have it that we must thank Mexico for 
our daily bread. If Emperor William were 
running Mexico, and placed an embargo on 
sisal, the presumption would be that we would 
go hungry, it being possible to harvest but a 
fraction of our wheat crop by hand. 

Few, if any, have associated the graceful, 
waving lawn plant with the flax that entered 
into commerce, and which helped to tie up our 
wheat as it was cut and make it ready for 
handing to the threshing machine. When you 
see a waving Phormium tenax upon the lawn 
you can associate it with the strongest and 
most useful vegetable fibre grown. 

And so we will turn our eyes from the lawn 
to the acres of phormium, to be grown and 
harvested much like corn, except that it takes 


longer for a phormium to mature to a harvest- 
ing stage than it takes corn to ripen. Corn 
is an annual but phormium is not only a 
perennial, but in the fullest sense of the word, 
everlasting. It may take a little itime from 
the planted root to mature into a fibre produc- 
ing plant (two years more or less), but once 
phormium has taken up the serious business 
of growing, it virtually knows no bounds. The 
grower in New Zealand tells you that it is one 
of the easiest plants to grow, and that is so 
when grown from crowns or roots, the main 
difficulty being to keep the multiplying plant 
within bounds. It is of the lily family, in 
New Zealand a swamp lily, where thousands 
of acres grow wild and unharvested, producing 
of the green leaves sometimes as much as 40 
tons of the green cuttings per acre. The same 
plant, phormium tenax (there are several 
kinds, but the tenax and the variegated pro- 
ducing the longest leaves), planted, say, like 
corn, but spaced apart eight by six feet to al- 
low for expanding of the crowns and spread 
of the leaves, produces 5 tons and upwards 
per acre, of the green leaves, 8 to 10 feet long 
and weighing 8 ounces each. One two-year- 
old plant, from the root, up in our Fair 
Grounds, producing, it is said, 12 5 pounds of 
mature harvested leaves. What an acre of 
phormium would produce in the Imperial Val- 
ley, under the forcing environment of rich 
soil, intense sunshine and unlimited irriga- 
tion, no man knows. We can only conjecture 
by looking at an illustration on the front age 
of the "Christian Herald," Dec. 6, which 
shows the Bedouins actually weaving this gi- 
gantic phormium into dwellings on the desert, 
huts, so to speak, but spacious and strong. The 
Bedouins have been to some oasis and gath- 

ered the dry leaves, cured and seasoned by the 
sun into a toughness incomparable and worthy, 
fully, of the "tenax" adjunct to this plant.' 
We look at the illustration and study the 
shock of leaves, sere and erect, and note 
that the same must have been trimmed with 
a liberal hand. And doing so we can easily 
imagine the mature leaves on the plant meas- 
uring 14, maybe 18, feet in length. Now if 
this can be done in an oasis on the desert it 
can be duplicated in our Imperial Valley and 
in perhaps many places in the great southwest. 
And so on the horizon the Phormium tenax, 
as a lawn ornamental plant, gives way to the 
New Zealand flax of commerce, for it is pos- 
sible by proper machinery to extract, most 
conservatively, 12 to 14% of fibre from the 
green leaf. If, as the experts say, the Imperial 
Valley is easily to produce 100 tons of leaves 
per acre, and by simple processing 12 to 14% 
of most valuable fibre is extracted from these 
leaves, so much so as to promise to exclude 
from our market both sisal and manila, no 
matter how cheaply they may be produced, 
this phormium is to evolve from the beautiful 
waving lawn beauty into a gigantic bit of 
agricultural growth, the limits of which no 
man knows, for like the brook, the plant goes 
on growing forever. An agricultural empire is 
to open up to this phormium and this is to be 
followed by an industrial empire in turn, for 
this fibre is suitable for the most delicate and 
spider-like thread of surpassing strength as 
well as for the strongest of cables as thick as 
a man's body almost. Again it is not only 
adapted to binder twine of incomparable qual- 
ity, but it is to be weaved into linen and- fab- 
rics of all kinds. The Japanese are weaving 
phormium into silken cloth today. 

Storing Dahlia Tubers — in England 

From the Garden's good English friend W. 
C. King of West Hartlepool, England, comes 
the following advice for keeping dahlia 
tubers through the winter and it is too bad 
that this is not also a poultry magazine so 
that his eulogy on the White Leghorns in his 
back yard could be published. 

"I noticed the article on storing dahlia 
tubers till planting time. You evidently store 
them outside under bushes, but we cannot do 

that; they would be frozen to death. The 
method I adopt is as follows: When the tub- 
ers are lifted I wash all soil off at the tap 
and then the roots are put in a rack, stalks 
downward to dry for a day or two. This 
also lets all moisture drip out of the stalks 
and then when thoroughly dry I store them 
away in a shed in fine sifted and thoroughly 
dry ashes. I find this is the best way and I 
have tried all." 

PackniniEs amid! PeeMirM 


y r zy y^Fyir? tfv t? 7" ?r^" 

HAVE been on a flight up the coast 
and at a Northern city, which shall 
be nameless because of the insanity 
which believes cities have separate in- 
terests, I was invited to come see a man who 
having money does not smell of it and knows 
it is but a means to an end. I went to see 
and in a brief interview he told me that while 
taking a successful farmer over his country 
place he had pointed with satisfaction to a 
hillside of live oaks and asked his visitor what 
he thought of that and the practical answer 
was , "Oh, don't let that bother you; you can 
burn it all off." Right there I wanted to see 
that hillside and all that belonged with it to a 
man who preferred live oaks to a citrus 

I have always suspected that there was an 
excuse for the rich man even from the point 
of the early bird and I was destined to find it. 
He will be the preserver of Californian land- 
scape to California and I am not sure but that 
I might forgive this one most of the crimes 
legally punishable in this state, because he 
has not committed that unpunishable one, the 
raping of California hillsides in the name of 

Those who have read my lucubrations can 
form a dim idea of what I experienced while 
being conducted over twelve hundred acres of 
the most glorious of our foothills carefully 
let alone, and where the disturbances unavoid- 
able in arranging for accessibility were being 
carefully restored according to God's original 
plan. I have always hungered for this chance 
since the planting superintendent, that excel- 
lent friend of The California Garden, P. D. 
Barnhart, besought me to send him a big bag 
of seed of the wild tobacco, and I saw that 
seed become almost trees in two years and 
laughed to think that they were safe from 
the fiends who rejoice in the bald earth. 

What do you think of an hundred acres of 
our wild-flowers sown in the best soil and most 
prominent spots on the estate, sown after as 
careful ploughing and weed killing as if the 
lordly potato bad been the crop; but there, 
the time is not far off when this oasis in a 
land of de-everything native will be regarded 
as a Mecca, a something almost holy. 

It is hard to be consecutive or even under- 
standable in attempting to condense into a 
few words the much worth while which I saw 
in a day of walking along ridge and canyon 
and up and down hill, for the atmosphere is 
the big thing. How little is the glory of those 
hillsides conveyed by the statement that they 
are a wilderness of lilac and rhus with fern 
pnd creeping thinsrs, that the creek lined with 
sycamores, now almost bare of their russet 

autumn foliage, and thickets of willow, winds 
and turns in curves of beauty. There was 
nothing in bloom, hardly anything in leaf and 
yet viewed from the site of the house, two- 
thirds up the hill looking across the canyon 
and up it, those hillsides were deserving of 
the final award of merit "Solomon in all his 
glory was not arrayed like one of these". I 
have never seen anything like our foothills, 
nothing so absolutely satisfying to me, par- 
ticularly towards evening when the lights and 
shadows bring out the beautiful curves of 
each ridge. Some of these we call HOG Backs 
and lightning does not strike us. Oh, how 
patient are the gods. If there were nothing 
else on this place but just that range of 
shaded green hills it would be a spiritual edu- 
cation to live there, to live in their contempla- 
tion should develop soul in a real estate agent. 

Most of the day was spent in meandering 
along trails through things as they have been 
for ages, where green moss and tiny ferns 
were reclothing the bared earth and the shrub- 
bery in response to the added light was putting 
on a suit of new green from the ground up, 
and what a joy it was to find these trails 
neither straight nor even and I am not even 
sure that they had a definite destination. I 
do know we left them whenever we wanted to 
get anywhere. 

Lots of you are not sufficiently emancipated 
from the atmosphere of planted and trans- 
planted landscape to be able to have a full 
soul meal in the wild so let such be comforted, 
for carefully segregated so as not to intrude 
upon the indigenous, are thousands and tens 
of thousands of importations. Mainly cent- 
ered around the house are all the trees and 
shrubs you ever heard of and more that you 
never did/ especially selected so that they 
will become independent of hose or cultivator. 
Tulips by the — but why pander to your love 
of big figures, suffice it that they are all there 
in quantities large enough to make a showing 
in our big outdoors. 

There is a pergola that runs from the house 
up a ridge for a few blocks or so, distance 
means nothing in those hills, and its treat- 
ment is so unique as to be deserving of com- 
ment. Of course the rise permits of delight- 
ful jogs which give a wonderful vista not pro- 
curable on the flat. The whole pergola is 
planted thickly and one walks on stepping 
stones over all sorts of creeping things of 
which Mr. Barnhart knows the names but I 
don't. There were countless primulas and 
cyclamen and two panels of Lobelia Cardi- 
nalis that I am proud to have contributed and 
a regular planting of Phoenix Roebelenii which 
are expected to form the final and sole feature. 



I let that bare statement go for I have no 
palm enthusiasm and I love those other things. 
I have quite forgotten the varieties of the 
hundreds of trees and shrubs which are des- 
tined to hide the pergola from the hill side 
and I don't regret it for I retain the picture 
of the admirable idea of cutting the pergola 
from the wild hills with a forest, there being 
a distinct inharmony between them, and yet 
v making that wonderful picture of the valley 
below the sea beyond the Catalina island in 
the distance. I am almost afraid to try and 
imagine the glory of the setting of the sun 
from that pergola; it must be so awful in 
beauty and magnificence that the naked eye 
should hardly see it. It must be like seeing 
"all the kingdoms of the earth and the glory 

Right out of these hills a swift auto 
snatched me back to the metropolis; not so 
swiftly but that I could notice how sanely 
the city is spreading in a growth of detached 
homes each with its piece of ground and 
breathing space, not in congested waves of 
forced movement, and the auto seemed bene- 

flcient. In proportion there seem more vacant 
lots in the outskirts of the city proper than in 
the suburbs. But what shall I say of the city 
where I slept in a room that had no sun and 
never has or will have; where the tall build- 
ings shade the street from side to side and 
the night noises are explosive and fiendish. At 
the crossings are lanes, very narrow ones, de- 
fined by white lines within which it is unlaw- 
ful for autoists to kill pedestrians half the 
time! the other half, and the rest of the street, 
the season is always open and to show how 
it is done a machine knocked a man down and 
got on top of him right in front of my hotel 
as I returned from the theatre. The curious 
part was that pedestrians have got so used to it 
that the floored one just arose when the 
machine backed off and departed under his 
own power as if it were all in the day's work. 
Shall we ever again build a city pressed to- 
gether as hay in a bale? Is there any more 
reason why we should do business on top of 
one another than live at home that way? 
Is the skyscraper an improvement or a disease? 

The Vegetable Garden 

By Walter Birch 

OW that the weather is moderating a 
little and the temperature seems in- 
clined to get back to normal again, 
it is a good time to bestir yourself 
in the garden. 

This is the best season for cabbage or caul- 
iflower, both seed and plants, and beets, car- 
rots, lettuce, radish, turnips, etc., can all be 
put in. You can also plant your potato patch, 
as by the time the tops show above ground we 
are not likely to get much more killing frost. 
January is a good month to put out a few 
rhubarb roots, dig in some well rotted manure 
and if you plant strong roots you will have 
rhubarb ready for the table inside of sixty 
days. Wagner's Giant Seedling is a good 
variety for winter and Strawberry for sum- 
mer. It is also a good time to plant your as- 
paragus bed, use plenty of manure and two- 
year-old roots. If you want early tomatoes, 
peppers, egg plant, sweet potatoes, etc., you 
can get your hot bed ready now. Set a box 
or frame in the ground and fill it with fresh 
horse manure a foot or more deep, tramp it 
well down and cover with six inches of good 
soil. After the manure has heated and the 
soil becomes warm, plant your seeds and po- 
tatoes, do not cut the sweet potatoes, but 
plant them whole. Plant more peas, if you 
want the dwarf ones try American Wonder, 
and if medium to tall, Gradus and Yorkshire 
Hero. It is too early yet to plant beans, ex- 
cept the Broad Windsor, which is extremely 
hardy. Spade or plow up your spare land 
now and keep it stirred and plowed and later 

in the season turn it over again and reduce 
to a fine surface, and you will have the 
ground in fine condition for your beans and 
corn in the spring. January is the best all 
around month for tree and shrub planting 
and setting out rose bushes, also for getting 
out your fruit trees and berry bushes, A nice 
assortment of fruit trees is a very material 
help towards the housekeeping and of course 
fruit raised by oneself is always better than 
what one buys. 

The time is opportune now for pruning 
your deciduous fruit trees and vines, as they 
are as nearly dormant during this month as 
they get, and it is important to trim them at 
the right time. Do not be afraid to cut back 
straggly or badly balanced trees severely, they 
will be all the better for it. The Avocado is 
rapidly growing in favor, and people are be- 
ginning to realize that a fruit that is so valu- 
able as a food is well worth having, to say 
nothing of its value as a handsome evergreen 
tree. You are quite safe in planting well es- 
tablished trees during the winter in this 
neighborhood, but they should be planted in 
a sheltered position where they do not get 
too much wind. Set out your strawberry bed 
•this month and you will be picking berries 
in the late spring and early summer. Plant 
them 8 to 12 inches apart in the row and the 
rows about 2 feet apart. 

This is a fine time to sow your wild flower 
seeds on the vacant lot or piece of spare 
ground, and you will be surprised at the result 
during the spring and summer. 

TIhnr®MgIbi &qp®§ffi<0)im 


E are loath to give up our exposition, 
even after two years of it, so we are 
to have three months of post nuptials. 
Nevertheless this month marks the 
beginning of many months of metamorphosis 
— if the alliteration may be pardoned — and 
from now on there will be decided changes in 
the aspect of things; buildings will be razed, 
and necessary adjustments of the landscaping 
made, but in the opinion of a great many of 
the visitors to the exposition, so vital a part 
of it is the landscaping that if all the build- 

ings were removed, which they will not be, 
the real exposition would still remain. Many 
of our guests during the past two years have 
been from among (those who have "seen them 
all", and reached the point where they don't 
care very much about the exhibits housed in 
buildings, or the attractions noised upon the 
Isthmus, but are absolutely smitten with ex- 
terior aspect of ithe "Garden Fair" as Mr. 
Neuhaus rather punnily calls it. Fortunately, 
the principal and best buildings will, as we 

know, be spared the ravages of the wrecker, 
so the spell will not be broken. 

As to what important landscaping changes 
will be made, it is probably a bit early to as- 
certain, but certain needed alterations will be 
made at once. The cannas north of the Cali- 
fornia Building will give place to Stocks in 
four varieties; the Montezuma gardens will 
undergo a complete transformation, and so 
on. In the Botanical Building necessary re- 
arrangements are now being made, which con- 
sist principally in the removing of such plants 
as have outgrown their environment, and sub- 
stituting those of a more suitable size, and 
in the repotting of those which have merely 
outgrown their containers. The building is 
especially attractive just now by reason of a 
very creditable display of seasonable flowering 
plants. The Cinerarias have made a good, 
strong start in flowering, while the Poinsettias 
are making a strong finish and still 
look very well. There are some excep- 
tionally fine specimens of potted Schi- 
zanthus in mixed vareties, especially 
among those grouped near the pool in the con- 
servatory. Cyclamen, Azaleas, Freesias, Pri- 
mulas in abundance — obconica, chinensis, and 
melacoides all being well represented. 

In the immediate vicinity of the Botanical 
Building there are several high spots of inter- 
est, e. g., a gorgeous Cotoneaster argustifolia, 
which is worthy of any one's time and atten- 
tion, as these shrubs and their kindred gen- 
erally are. This particular specimen is near 
the west entrance of the Foreign and Domes- 
tic Arts Building. Then there are the Nan- 
dinas northeast of the Botanical Building. 
These are always there, but it is well from 
time to time to call attention to the fact, as 
they are so very worth while. Just now they 
are displaying their very typical autumnal 
tints which constitute their principal charm. 
Along the same walk, and further towards the 
west, Pittosporum rhombifolium has come up 
to the scratch with its annual crop of golden 
berries, which are always pleasing. Still con- 
tinuing along this same walk, this time to the 
south, a group of Hardenbergia monophylla 
alba brightens up the landscape with its very 
attractive masses of pea-shaped flowers. Eiast 
of the Botanical Building is a planting of 
Candytuft — Machet by name — which is there 
to please those of us whose delight is in frag^- 
ranee, and particularly the fragrance of those 
flowers which have always been our friends, 
and those of our parents before us. 

To return for a moment to the subject of 
the colorings which we are apt to associate 



with the fall of the year, the Oryptomeria jap- 
onica, which ornament a corner of the walk 
north of the California Building are blushed 
with a smoky tinting which needs someone 
more proficient in the subtile art of color de- 
termination than the perpetrator of these 
notes. Suffice to say that the colorings are 
good, and compensate in a large measure for 
certain difficulties attendant upon the growing 
of these trees in Balboa Park. Bordering the 
same walk the Viburnum tinus are enjoying 
one of their many seasons of prosperity, and 
are celebrating with a new crop of bloom. 

North of the U. S. Government Building, 
forming an edging for the walk for a few feet, 
S'tevia serrata fills, the air of the immediate 
vicinity with the delicate perfume of its 
equally delicate white flowers. It is passing 
strange that this excellent plant does not oc- 
cupy a larger place in our gardens, decorative- 

ly useful as it is in so many ways. Not far 
away is a hillside of Cassia tomentosa, a sort 
of staple article in shrubbery plantings, and 
properly so. It has no bad habits, and can 
qualify to enter the society of the most ex- 
clusive exotics. Also on the hillside, and 
somewhat to the west, there is an example of 
what Solanum Warcezwizcii (this is a bona- 
fide name, the printer did not insert it to fill 
up space) can do with half a chance. The 
specimen referred to is really two grown close 
together, but appears as one, and is an en- 
ormous thing. Also it is very decorative. 
Probably the exposition landscapes may 
claim credit for the introduction of this very 
ornamental species to Southern California, as, 
while it is somewhat grown in the East, it had 
not been planted hereabouts until the advent 
of the exposition. 

The Flower Gardens 

Miss Mary Matthews 

HE rains that we have had in the last 
two weeks, and those which we are 
still to have, from all appearances, 
should put the ground, after it is 
well worked and manured, in fine shape for 
winter planting; do not, however, spade when 
the ground is very wet. Wait till it is loose 
enough to crumble when handled. 

This is a full planting month. Deciduous 
trees and shrubs of all kinds can be planted. 
Leptospermums; hawthorns, with their beau- 
tiful red or orange berries, abelia, myrtles 
with fragrant foliage, genistas, pittisporums 
and many others equally as well known, grow 
with only a minimum amount of care. When 
planting dig the hole deep enough to receive 
the roots without crowding, mix well-rotted 
manure with the soil and after planting firm 
the ground well. 

I am very fond of the cassias, or sennas, 
often confused with the acacia. They are so 
thrifty and at this season reward us with a 
full display of yellow flowers. There is a 
newer variety, at least new to this section, 
that has spikes of brilliant yellow, cassia 
Alata, the "talantaea" of Porto Rico. 

Prune all clinging vines close in to the 
wall or trellis. Ampelopsis, or Boston ivy, big- 
nonia tweediana and the ficus repens should 
not be left with any loose shoots hanging full, 
as in a heavy wind they are very liable to be 
torn from the wall. 

Perennials that will bloom the first year if 
started at once are marguerites from cuttings, 
penstemons, dimorphotheca, or South African 
orange daisy, gaillardias and some of the del- 

There is a host of annuals which may be 

planted at this time. Anything that you may 
fancy. Larkspurs do well when the seeds are 
put in this month, as they make a good 
growth in cool weather; likewise sweetpeas 
for early summer blooming should go in. 

Stocks transplanted from flats, coreopsis, 
marigolds, African large, French small, corn- 
flowers, the Kaiser's favorite, zinnias, etc., 
can all be started. Mignonette should be in, 
also candytuft and sweet alyssum. In this 
try the lilac-tinted. There is also a pure red 
ageratum listed in the 1917 catalogs. We 
have now the blue and white with the addi- 
tion of the red we can have a loyal bed in our 
gardens. When ordering your seeds add a 
few of the newer things to give an unusual 
note to your garden, but let the greater num- 
ber be the old well-tried favorites. Someone 
speaking of this said the other day, "This 
year I am going to have just old-time flowers 
in my garden; people have neglected them 
so of late," and this is true to great extent, 
still some of the newer ones are beautiful. 
Buy your aster seed this month in separate 
colors and plant them in flats. 

Attend to your lawn this month, if you 
have one. A lawn is a luxury in this country 
if you keep it up to the mark. Trim hedges, 
work in manure in the flower beds; let it be 
well broken up and thoroughly mixed with the 
soil. Bulb beds will have had plenty of water 
at present. Where the soil is dry enough 
loosen it up around the bulbs and when they 
show bud iglve nitrate of soda, a good spoonful 
to a gallon of water. Watch for slugs and 
snails around those just pushing through the 



The California Garden 

Alfred D. Robinson, Editor 
G. T. Keene, Manager 
Office, 727 E St.. San Diego, Cal. 


The San Diego Floral Association 

Main Office, Point Loma, California 


Stephen Connell, President 

L. A. Blochman, Vice-Pres. and Treasurer 

R. W. Sumner. Secretary 

Miss A. M. Rainford, Miss K. O. Sessions, G. R. Gorton, 

Miss Leila Clough. Mrs. F. D. Waite, L. A. Blochman 

Entered as second-class matter December 8, 1910, at 
the Post office at Point Loma, California, under the Act 
of March 3. 1879. 

California Garden is on the list of publications authorized by the San 
Diego Retail Merchants Association. 

Subscription, $1.00 per year 


One Page $10.00 Half Page, $5.00 

Quarter Page 2.50 Eighth Page 1.50 

Advertising Copy should be in by the 25th of each Month 

Elite Printing Co.. 

.727 E St., San Diego 

February Meeting 

The February meeting of the 
Floral Association will be held at the 
home of Mrs. John Gay, Fifth and 
Ivy Sts., Tuesday evening, the 20th. 


The December meeting of the Floral Asso- 
ciation was held on the 19th at the home of 
President and Mrs. Stephen Connell, in Mis- 
sion Hills. The main topic for discussion was 
"Planting Gardens Near the Seashore," and 
was very thoroughly handled by Miss Sessions, 
followed by Mr. Gorton, Mr. Robinson and 

Appreciative Garden Readers 

Many readers of the garden have expressed 
appreciation of Mr. Fleming's article on the 
Mistletoe. A good letter has been received 
from Murray Home, of Yorba Linda, who 
says he is sending Mr. Fleming's article to a 
brother who is the author of "Notes on Mis- 
tletoe" in the Journal of Botany. Mr. Home 
also writes: 

It occurs to me to suggest to your readers 
some plants that I have found to be of great 
merit and yet seem to be much neglected and 
which would succeed admirably in your loca- 

I would mention first, Impatiens Oliveri, a 
fall flowering species with blooms about two 
inches in diameter, of that peculiar color 

much seen in the orchid family; a sort of 
lavender pink. This plant when grown in 
partial shade, such as an east front, will make 
magnificent clumps two feet or more through 
by three or four feet in height. Miss Sessions 
should have plants for sale by this time as 
I gave her some plants a year or so ago. 

Other neglected plants are the newer bud- 
dleias. They are good "doers" as the English 
say, grow easily and fast and are very much 
at home in our climate. Buddleia magnifica 
var. is a great improvement on the older 
variabilis, has larger flowers and deeper color 
and quite fragrant; summer bloomer. Bud- 
dleia Asiatica is a shrub everyone should 
grow; a rapid grower. One in my garden has 
grown from a little slip of a plant eighit 
inches' high, planted in April last, to over ten 
feet high, and now is in full bloom, creamy 
white, rather small racemes, but most delic- 
iously fragrant. The odor is quite distinct and 
very pleasant. This makes a fine cut flower 
and lasts a long time in water. 

I am enclosing check to bring my subscrip- 
tion up-to-date, and wish your paper a pros- 
perous New Year. 

The Garden is constantly receiving from 
distant readers letters of commendation of 
this little magazine and its corps of volun- 
teer writers. Miss Jane Weldon, of Santa Bar- 
bara, subscribes for the second coipy to be 
sent to Pasadena, and at the end of her letter 

'Your little magazine is full of interesting 
and vital information to Southern Californians 
and I greatly enjoy it." 


HEN I read your interesting journal 
every month I more and more envy 
you your beautiful climate and it be- 
Sd hooves every reader in San Diego 
who loves flowers to take the fullest advant- 
age of Nature's kindest gift, because, without 
a suitable climate your efforts are not so well 

This autumn we have had an exceptionally 
heavy rain, day after day and week after 
week, but in spite of that I am glad to say 
that (Rosecroft) San Diego dahlias made a 
very brave show. "-Miss Sessions" was excep- 
tionally fine. Her white satiny blossoms were 
beautiful to see. The last three blooms I cut 
were seven inches across. "Guy Keene" 
keeps his color very well and is a grand 
flower; but (whisper it) "A. D. Robinson" has 
shown some white petals among his true 
color. I hope he will improve yet. However, 
these and the other unnamed dahlias have 
been grand. They are a different race to 
ours. I think the climate must have a great 
deal to do with it. Your seed is far stronger 



and vitality appears to be at its highest point, 
due to a warmer soil. 

Up to the end of September the outdoor 
chrysanthemums have been fine and so have 
all the flower borders. ■ Begonias have done 
well this year, owing to the rainy summer I 
was greatly interested in reading the begonia 
articles in the Garden and should like to drop 
in some week end and see some of your lath 
houses. Begonias have a warm corner in my 
heart and I consider them an ideal amateur's 
flower. I noticed in a catalog from one of 
the best growers, the other day, that they had 
brought out another double white one at the 
modest price of 3 5/- per tuber. 

We are to have another phase of gardening 
introduced in this country. All the Town 
Councils are trying to obtain all vacant pieces 
of land and offering them to the townsfolk 
rent free for the cultivation of potatoes and 
vegetables and railway companies are offering- 
all patches of ground along the railway sides 
for the same purpose. It is a grand idea and 
will be the means of every town trying to 
help itself by trying to grow its own supply 
and thus make it independent. 

I was greatly interested in reading of the 
success which has attended the effort to pre- 
serve the "Torrey Pines" and am glad the 
natural monuments to your district are to be 
preserved. I sincerely wish you a happy and 
prosperous New Year and continued success 
in matters horticultural, both in town and out. 

Sincerely yours, 

W. C. KING, 
80 Osborn Road, West Hartlepool, England. 


The Phoenix Roebelenii was found by 
Charles Roebelen, pioneer orchid collector, of 
Bangkok, Siam, in the fall of 1899, on the 
upper section of the Mekong River, Loas, in 
French Indo-China, while on his 2 0th annual 
expedition through that country in search for 
orchids. Very soon after its discovery it was 
introduced into the market at Ghent, Belgium, 
and quickly met with the favor of the leading 
botanists of the world as the most hardy and 
graceful palm. 

The collection of the Phoenix Roebelenii 
seeds is very difficult and uncertain, and few 
can imagine what dangers a collector is ex- 
posed to in going through the flood plains of 
the Mekong River while gathering the seeds. 
To make this journey Mr. Roebelen takes four 
weeks each way, from the time he leaves 
Bangkok till he reaches his destination to 
gather his crop. This trip is made partly by 
means of a raft or house boat pushed forward 
by long poles. On arriving at his destination 
he must be lucky to strike a dry period so he 
can get under the plants to spread his sheets. 
If he is delayed in transit, or there is no dry 
period, the seeds will be washed away by the 
high flood, which very quickly covers the 
broad plains. This misfortune has happened 

time and again to Mr. Roebelen, a fact which 
explains the uncertainty and scarcity of the 
supply of Phoenix Roebellenii seeds — Florists' 


Miss Sessions has often spoken of the pos- 
sibilities of California producing the bulbs 
which have formerly been imported from Hol- 
land, Belgium, and other foreign countries, 
and the following article in the Florists' Re- 
view shows that at least one Californian is 
alive to the possibilities: 

Not in years has anything happened in 
trade circles that has attracted the public at- 
tention that is being given to the work of 
Charles W. Ward. It may be that Mr. Ward 
is not so poor a publicity man as some, but 
the idea of developing, a Pacific coast supply 
of such plants and bulbs as have been im- 
ported appeals strongly to those who believe 
in "home folks first." The San Francisco 
papers have devoted whole pages to Mr. Ward 
and his Eureka establishment. Some of these 
special feature pages have been syndicated to 
other newspapers throughout the country. 
Two such have come out in January. The re- 
porters call Mr. Ward "the plant wizard" and 
try to make of him a second Burbank, much 
to Mr. Ward's discomfiture, for there is noth- 
ing of the "wizard" in his make-up. But the 
Eureka enterprise has gripped his interest as 
nothing else has done in years — he is in it 
heart and soul as well as money and those 
who know the man and his methods know 
that no effort will be spared to make a success 
of the undertaking, which, after all, is only a 
plain business enterprise. 

In looking over a list of seedsmen who are 
bidding for the various seed contracts adver- 
tised by the U. S. Government for free dis- 
tribution, a good share of them are seen to be 

The Chicago Florists' Club has started a 
campaign of advertising to get people into the 
idea of sending flowers as valentines on Feb- 
ruary 14. 

Some Eastern seedsmen were planning their 
catalogues in December but ceased the ne- 
gotiations with their printers when the peace 
talk was started, thinking the paper prices 
would go down. The dove of peace continued 
to soar and so did paper stock and the seeds- 
men are disconsolate in consequence. 

In the spirit of war-time economy, I pre- 
sume, a Norwich, England, man has produced 
a plant which bears tomatoes on the stem and 
potatoes on the roots. He calls it the tomtato. 



Irises in the Southwest 

The Iris or flag, Fleur de ]is of the French, 
is among the oldest of our cultivated flowers, 
its name signifying "rainbow" was given to 
it by the Greeks. The Iris is related botanic- 
ally to Orchids on one side and to the Amaryl- 
lis and Lilies on the other. It is a favorite 
flower with the Japanese. 

Irises constitute one of our largest groups 
of hardy perennial flowers; there are in cul- 
tivation now more than 100 species, with va- 
rieties almost too numerous to mention. When 
once established, an Iris bed should not be 
disturbed any more ihan is necessary, since 
ordinarily the plants do not blossom well the 
first year after being set. 

Because of their genera! hardiness, and 
especially the drought resistant qualities of a 
large number of them, particularly the Ger- 
man Irises, they are admirably adapted for 
planting in southwestern gardens. There are 
few flowers that are as uniformly successful 
in Arizona, with our wide range of growing 
conditions, as the Iris. They can endure 
some alkali, strong light, thrive in heavy or 
light soils, grow with much or little irrigation 
and endure prolonged drought and heat. With 
their surface growing rhizomes they can even 
tolerate poor drainage. To be moderately 
successful, they require only the most ordin- 
ary culture. On account of the ease and suc- 
cess with which they grow, they should find a 
place in every garden. It is interesting to 
know that a number of rare Irises from Pal- 
estine and Syria which are growm with diffi- 
culty in the Eastern states, blossom and come 
to perfection in the mild climates of Arizona 
and California. 

The writer knows of plants that have grown 
for several years on dry Arizona mesas with 
only the scant rainfall and the occasional 
flood water that collected in the basins sur- 
rounding them. In the heavy red clay soil in 
the cemetery of one of our larger Arizona 
mining towns, Irises are much planted and 
succeed beyond expectation. When estab- 
lished there, they grow and blossom year af- 
ter year with little care, and they have come 
to be known to the children as "Easter Lilies." 
I know of no other flower that would thrive 
so well under the same trying conditions. 

Irises are used to advantage in many kinds 
of planting, including massing, setting along 
borders of walks and drives, and also for 
naturalizing in back yards, in woods and 
along brooks. With their showy flowers and 
strict habit of growth, they are excellent for 
formal bedding and they lend themselves well 
to artistic effects. In addition to Irises here- 
tofore mentioned should be noted the several 
dwarf Irises which are splendid for low bor- 
ders, and the Spanish and English Irises, the 
two latter bulbous species indigenous to 
Spain. .L -T. THORNBER. 



We have attended a banquet of 
sixty chicken, folks not fowls, and 
really they are just like other peo- 
ple. You would not have known 
the difference between them and a 
meeting of our Chamber of Com- 
merce or Exposition Directors. 
They got up on their hind legs, 
both sexes, and told how their 
operations were the saving of the 
ration and of a purely altruistic 
character. To hear them tell it 
they did not care if they had to 
eat beefsteak and oysters so long 
as the rest of the world paid them 
for chickens and eggs. There were 
'steen of them who said they were 
quite unprepared to speak, and 
really it seemed true, particularly 
in one case where a nervous gent 
almost confessed to laying eggs. 

We replied to a toast of President 
Wilson and the U. S. Government 
and took the liberty of saying both 
loved chickens and had their eyes 
on this particular meeting so that 
its doings could be incorporated in 
the next note to Germany. When 
it was all over the Chairman con- 
gratulated us on our remarks and 
expressed the hope that the peo- 
ple of San Diego would appreciate 
v/hat we have done for them in 
bringing to their CITY the famous 
Barred Rocks of Rosecroft and 
we deferred reply till we had 
asked you whether you will or not. 
The answer is with you. 

Barred Rock Yards 

Point Loma, California 
Alfred D. Robinson, Proprietor 


W. Sefton, Jr. 
L. Williams 
Forward, Jr. 




Nmth and Olive Streets 
s Angeles, California 

Sunset Main 1745 

Amaryllis and 
£ ^^JBf Plants 

quantities and great variety 

Send { ^ talogs 

1 ello, California